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The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies

The Welsh Girl is set in the mountains of Wales in the waning days of World War II. Esther is the daughter of a nationalist sheep farmer and a part-time barmaid. English soldiers arrive, and being one of the few in the village who can speak English, Esther is sent to find out why they're there. The soldiers are building a prisoner-of-war camp, which doesn't earn the good favor the local Welsh citizens. Esther meets a German soldier, Karsten, ashamed of the fact that he surrendered. The two have an instant attraction. When Karsten escapes, Captain Rotherham, a British Army interrogator of German and Jewish extraction, is sent to investigate. While there, he interrogates the POW camp's most famous prisoner, Rudolf Hess. Peter Ho Davies' novel of nationalism, identity, and love has received mostly positive reviews with the San Francisco Chronicle saying, "To his credit, Davies has never insisted on comfortable endings, and he doesn't come to any easy conclusions about the importance of freedom or the absolute nature of home. In spite of its moments of improbability and contrivance, this first novel still manages to tap the most troubling paradoxes of community and individuality, of loyalty and love."
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The Independent review
by Richard Gwyn

The Telegraph review
by Jessica Mann

The Independent review
by Catherine Taylor

The Telegraph review
by Lionel Shriver

San Francisco Chronicle review
by Kathryn Crim

New Statesman review
by Sebastian Harcombe

Scotland on Sunday review
by James W Wood

The Guardian review
by Helen Dunmore

Peter Ho Davies
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